The great pyramids at Giza, EgyptElephants crossing the Zambezi river in Mana Pools National Park world heritage site, ZimbabweThe great mosque in the Old Towns of Djenne world heritage site, MaliBlack and white ruffed lemur, Rainforests of the Atsinanana world heritage site, Madagascar

Danakil Depression - Ethiopia & Djibouti

Map showing the location of the Danakil Depression (Ethiopia & Djibouti), an area with World Heritage Site potential on account of its unique geological featuresConsidered to have potential as a future World Heritage Site

Location and Area: The Danakil Depression marks the northern end of the Great Rift Valley on the African mainland, the point where Earth’s forces are most actively tearing the continent apart. It is an extremely arid, hot desert area which stretches from the coastline of Eritrea through north-eastern Ethiopia and western parts of Djibouti (see map). 

Inscription Status:  Not yet included on Ethiopia’s Tentative List (2015), but Djibouti has included two areas within the Danakil (LakeAsal and LakeAbbe) in its draft Tentative List.

Important Values: The Danakil Depression is an area of outstanding geological interest, providing a unique window on the underlying processes which have created the Earth’s continents and land masses.  Here, in relatively close proximity, geological features associated with the splitting of continental land masses are clearly seen, including intense volcanic activity (with one of the few permanent lava lakes on the planet - Mount Irtale), hot sulphur springs elaborately decorated with extraordinary coral-like formations, salt-encrusted lake beds, and vast limestone chimneys (Lake Abbe). 


Slideshow of Danakil Depression

Comparison with other sites:

Possible constraints to world heritage listing:

Links:  Google Earth | UNEP-WCMC Site Description |Official UNESCO Site Details | WWF Project NewsBirdlife IBA     

The shoreline of Lake Assal in Djibouti is encrusted with salt, one of the hottest and driest places on Earth Giant calcareous chimneys, some as much as 50m high create an other-worldly landscape at Lake Abbe at the southern end of the Danakil Depression (Djibouti) The Danakil's most amazing sight is Irta'ale volcano, which has one of the only permanent lava lakes on the planet and has been in a continuous state of eruption since 1967 Crystalized formations of sulphur and iron oxide deposited around bubbling hot springs near Dallol in the Danakil Depression (Ethiopia) create an extraordinary landscape which looks like an expanse of colourful terrestrial corals



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